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The Sequence of Tenses


The Sequence of Tenses

Main Clause

Subordinate Clause

1.Future Tense: Simple, Continous, Perfect (shall have done)

Present Tense-simultaneous action

-posterious action

Present Perfect Tense-anterious action

2.Present Tense

Present Perfect Tense

Any tense according to the meaning

3.Past Tense

Past Perfect-anterious action

Past Tense-simultanous action

Future in the Past-posterious action


1.I shall have finished my homework by the time you have come back

I'll tell you what I have decided. (ce voi fi hotarat)

He will be here when he is free.

2.I know what he said about me.

I know what he will say about me.

3.He announced us that he had read the book.

He announced us that he was still reading the book.  

He announced us that he would finish the book within two days.

Exceptions to rule 3:

a)      if the Subordinate Clause expresses a permanent or universal truth

Eg: He explained to us that there are 26 letters in the English alphabet.

b)      if the situation in the Subordinate Clause becomes obvious at the present moment

Eg: Look! Here it is Mary with her two sons. Didn't I tell you when we met last she has two sons?

c)      relative clauses (propozitii atributive)

Eg: Yesterday I bought a book which Mary is reading now.

d)      clauses of cause (de cauza)

Eg: I didn't give him the money because I don't trust him.

e)      clauses of result (consecutiva)

Eg: I worked a lot yesterday so that I'll go for a walk now.

f)        clauses of comparison:   than (de comparatie)

Eg: He worked harder last year than he does now.

g)      clauses of manner

Eg: He behaved rudely as he always does.

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